The book, ‘Leadership Agility’ by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs presents an excellent validated leadership model. Only about 10% of managers have mastered the level of agility needed to be consistently effective and avoid burnout in today’s turbulent workplace.
There are three levels of leadership agility most prevalent in today’s organizations: Expert (45% leaders), Achiever (35% leaders) and Catalyst (10% leaders). Expert leaders believe leaders are respected and followed by others because of their authority and expertise. The Achiever level has a strategic, outcome orientation. They believe that leaders motivate others by making it challenging and satisfying to contribute to larger objectives. Catalyst leaders articulate an innovative, inspiring vision and bring together the right people to make it happen.
Four Types of Agility Competencies
Catalyst leaders consistently use the following four types of agility competencies in a way that they build on each other.
- Context-setting Agility: It is the ability to scan the environment, anticipate what might change, and frame their context in a compelling way that influences others. Catalyst leaders seek input from stakeholders not just to get buy-in but are willing to be influenced by others’ views for better decision-making.
- Creative Agility: It is the ability to explore multiple views when dealing with a complex problem and to step back to examine the assumptions being made.
- Stakeholder Agility: It is the ability to identify, seek out, and engage key stakeholders. Catalyst leaders seek input from stakeholders not just to get buy-in but are actually willing to be influenced by others’ views for better decision-making.
- Self-Leadership Agility: It is the capacity to engage deeply in growing self-awareness and leading oneself first by envisioning the kind of leader they want to be. Catalyst leaders have an interest in aligning their behaviour with values, and aspire to become more authentic leaders. They use personal growth to fuel professional development.
Bill Joiner believe that organizations need to help many of their Achiever senior managers grow into the Catalyst level and many of their Expert middle managers develop to the Achiever level. This is a collective undertaking.
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